Vice presidential candidate Francis “Chiz” Escudero recently forged an “unholy alliance” with two warring leftist groups in exchange for P70 million in funds purportedly for carrying out any form of propaganda to thwart the bid of his perceived biggest rival–Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos 2nd–for the second-highest post in the land.
A reliable source, whom The Manila Times nicknamed as “Heart,” said Escudero’s decision to approve release of the P70 million to the two leftist groups who are enemies of traditional politicians was described as a “desperate move” by those who knew about the agreement directly or indirectly.
The same source said Escudero gave the go-signal to give around P50 million to the Koalisyong Makabayan (KM).
KM is the group that handles the party-list candidates of the “reaffirmist” or RA in the leftist movement.
RA is known to favor the views, analysis, strategy and tactics being espoused by the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) in carrying out change in Philippine society.
Jose Ma. Sison is reportedly the chairman of the CPP who is using the alias “Armando Liwanag.”
The same source, who was interviewed by The Manila Times last Friday afternoon, said Escudero also gave the greenlight for the release of P20 million to Sanlakas.
Sanlakas, headed by Lidy Nakpil, is the dominant force in the “rejectionist” or RJ in the leftist movement.
RJ refers to the groups vehemently opposed to the views, analysis, strategy and tactics of the CPP under the supposed leadership of Sison.
Nathaniel Santiago, KM secretary-general, vehemently denied the story, saying “that’s a pure lie!”
RA sources described Santiago as a “key person” in the group.
But Santiago strongly denied having knowledge of the supposed unholy alliance when asked about it.
He laughed and said he has relayed the story of The Manila Times about the supposed “P50-million funds from Escudero” to Satur Ocampo, a former congressman. who is alleged to be an important figure in the RA.
Leody de Guzman, national chairman of the Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP) and the first nominee of Sanlakas to the party-list elections, said he has no knowledge about the P20 million from Escudero’s camp.
De Guzman said The Manila Times story never happened at all.
The source, who is “young” and “cute,” asserted that Santiago was the conduit of the RA group in the deal with Escudero.
On the other hand, a certain Charlie Avila was allegedly the one who worked the agreement for Sanlakas.
The Manila Times tried to find Avila, including in the social network, but to no avail.
“Heart” described Avila as having been an activist also since the “First Quarter Storm” or FQS, in the early 1970s.
“Heart” said Escudero has three objectives in connection with the “unholy alliance.”
One, to stop Marcos from completely dislodging him in the vice presidential race.
A recent survey showed Escudero and Marcos were preferred by voters to become the next Vice President of the country.
Two, Escudero needs a big campaign machinery that will back up his vice presidential run and that could be provided by the KM and the Sanlakas, said the source.
Escudero, running as an independent candidate, has no political party to speak of.
The Nationalist People’s Coalition has projected itself to the media as being behind Grace Poe and her running mate Escudero but has not made up its mind until today, according to Quezon Rep. Mark Enverga.
Three, Escudero he wants to make sure that he would be able to corner a wide base of voters through the KM and the Sanlakas.
Santiago said the KM and other organizations connected to it are “cause-oriented, not cost-oriented.”
He pointed to an anti-Marcos organization called Campaign Against the Return of the Marcoes to Malacanang (Carmma) headed by Bonifacio Ilagan, vice chairman of Selda, a human rights group.
Carmma recently placed expensive whole-page ads in select broadsheets and tabloids. newspapers.
A whole page black-and-white ad in a broadsheet goes for P185,000 or higher and in a tabloid, an average of P45,000.
De Guzman said Sanlakas agreed to support Escudero since the senator fully supports their electoral battle such as the campaign for regular jobs, not contractual ones, , pro-people public service, among other reasons.
He admitted that it was the Sanlakas top brass who “manage” the Never Again Movement, an organization that is actively campaigning against Marcos’ vice presidential run.
Wilson Fortaleza, spokesman for Partido Manggagawa (PM), said they have officially declared support for Poe and Escudero’s candidacy.